June, I had the opportunity to interview Mohammed al-Dayni, an elected
member of the Council of Representatives to the Iraqi Parliament and a
collaborator of mine in an effort to negotiate a cease fire between Iraqi
insurgents and the Coalition forces, who is now charged by his government of traitorous crimes.
in late February, in an exclusive to the Huffington Post, href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dal-lamagna/where-is-mohammed-aldaini_b_172386.html" target="_blank">I reported in a blog that Mohammad al-Dayni, an elected member
of the Council of Representatives to the Iraqi Parliament, was charged by the Iraqi government for masterminding the April 2007 bombing of the cafeteria in the Parliament building. Al-Dayni was on an Iraqi
airliner heading to Jordan to see his family. His plane was forced to return. Maliki forces removed him; then released him. He disappeared.
On June 1, I heard good news from Noor, Mohammed's wife,
that he was safe in a secure location outside Iraq. Would I travel there and speak with him? I did.
Mohammed denies all charges and believes he is a target because
has exposed human rights violations within the country as well as financial
and managerial corruption by the Maliki administration. He told
me he was being sent to Iran because of his relentless insistence that Iranian
operatives have infiltrated the Maliki government.
It is a bizarre tale. First there was a media announcement of al-Dayni's
arrest and then a revocation of that announcement. At the same time,
al-Dayni was being transported by a special force related to al-Maliki to
various military camps or stations in and out of Baghdad. At the
fourth station, near the Iran-Iraq border he was placed in a car bound for
Iran, but with the help of others in the car and nearby tribal peoples,
he, in his words, "was allowed to run away from the bad situation."
On June 9, I sat down with al-Dayni, read him the Maliki government's charges and asked for his side of the story. In the
interview that you can read, al-Dayni recounts
the arrests and torture of his family members and bodyguards by Iraqi officials. He tells of a flagrant disregard for the Iraqi Constitution
and law by the Maliki government. And, he notes that four people currently in the custody of the anti-terrorism division inside the Green Zone
have already confessed to the bombing of the Parliament, the principle charge against him. He talks about his history as a human rights activist
while commenting on the irony that he is being accused as a violator of human rights.
Although long, this is a riveting story that answers many questions and raises many more. For me, I am relieved that Mohammed is alive.
You can read the interview in its entirety.
After that, there are a few significant items worth
noting. I''ve also included a chronological display of press reports leading up to and related to Mohammed's current case.
Written in collaboration with Jennifer Hicks